How to Make Public Clouds Work for CSPs

Public clouds like those of Amazon, Google and Microsoft are tempting options for CSPs to run their virtual network functions (VNFs). But there is a mix of technical and business challenges that are preventing CSPs from leveraging large-scale public clouds. Metaswitch has done a lot of work on getting VNFs to run in the public cloud, so we have a good understanding of these issues for CSPs.

CTO Martin Taylor recently discussed the challenge of public clouds with TelecomTV at their recent DSP Leaders Forum event. The biggest problem for CSPs is not technical, but business, according to Taylor.

“The challenge is that if you want to run an application in the public cloud, you pay for the compute resource by the hour or minute and that’s an operating expense. Telcos do not like anything that adds to operating expense,” he said.

So the classic public cloud model doesn’t really work for CSPs.

But what could work well is for CSPs to build the physical infrastructure for their telco cloud and then run a public cloud stack (software that has recently been made available from major cloud providers) on top of those assets to provide a more powerful cloud environment. They could even outsource the operation of the cloud stack to a public cloud operator, which would have the scale to do so at a much lower cost.